There has just been a spot on BBC Breakfast about space law - something I never knew existed. Apparently, at the height of the Cold War, the great powers optimistically prepared something called "the Outer Space Treaty (1967)". There were also comments about another piece of legislation (passed by whom I'm not sure): the Commercial Space Act, but I didn't hear the details as the kettle was boiling noisily. Does anyone know anything about these laws? The thought of a new race for empire - the colonisation of whole planets etc. for commercial exploitation - is horrifying. There are presumably an awful lot of mineral resources up there, just waiting to be grabbed. Enormous potential for human-inspired conflict and disorder - not to mention the corruption and spoilation of pristine environments?
And treaties - historically have they ever been of any real use? I believe international lawyers - even in the very drawing up of such legislation - have always speculated cynically on how their cleverly worded provisions could be broken.